In the early fourteenth century, four Franciscan friars set out for East Asia to preach the Gospel among the Mongols. In the city of Thana (modern Mumbai), however, they met their end after running afoul of the local administrators. We explore their story, a Latin Christian understanding of Asia, and more in this episode of Footnoting History.
E. Randolph Daniel, The Franciscan Concept of Mission in the High Middle Ages, University of Kentucky Press, (1975).
Benjamin Kedar, Crusade and Mission: European Approaches Towards the Muslims, Princeton University Press, (1984).
Christopher MacEvitt, The Martyrdom of the Franciscans: Islam the Papacy, and an Order in Conflict, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.
James D. Ryan, “Conversion or the Crown of Marytrdom: Conflicting Goals in for Fourteenth Century Missionaries in Central Asia?” In Medieval Cultures in Contact, edited by Richard Gyug, Fordham University Press, (2003): 19-38.
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)
Ever wondered what would be on the menu in medieval England? Take a look with Kristin at one of the oldest English cookbooks, The Forme of Cury, and see what Richard II was having for dinner in this week’s episode of Footnoting History!
What does Beowulf have to do with the linguistics of African-American history? The same man studied them both… and his scholarship on medieval literature helped frame his search for linguistic communities. This podcast examines the career of Lorenzo Dow Turner, celebrated linguist known as the Father of Gullah Studies. Turner studied the language, ideas, and culture of Black island communities in the southeastern United States, and created recognition for that culture in so doing.
Starting in the late 1800s, forward thinking progressives embraced the idea that human evolution needed a little help in order to make sure that only the best (in their view) produced. Eventually, this idea became codified in legislation and even the Supreme Court of the United States supported it. Join Elizabeth as she examines the formulation of this idea and its impact.
In the Ottoman Empire, royal women were to be neither seen nor heard - after giving birth to the Sultan's child, they were supposed to recede into the background, focused on raising that potential heir. And, yet, in the 1500s, a young concubine captured the heart of one of the greatest leaders of all history. By doing so, she ushered in a period known as the Sultanate of Women. And we don't even know her real name. In this episode, join Elizabeth as she examines the history of the "Joyful One."
Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria became Emperor Napoleon I of France's second wife in 1810, only a few years before he was overthrown. This episode covers the ups and downs of Marie Louise's life before, during, and after her time with Napoleon.
While most of us imagine life in Hollywood’s golden age as glamorous and full of star-studded extravaganzas, for Milicent Patrick, it was anything but. Working behind the scenes and on the sides of the sound stage, Patrick designed perhaps the most famous monster in movie history: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. In this episode, we trace the incredible intersections Patrick’s life had in history as well as her should-be-celebrated film career.
We're back at it again! Get in the Halloween spirit with this selection of short, eerie, historical anecdotes hand selected by our historians. With ghosts and ghouls around, you might want to keep the light on while listening...
Podcasters: Christine, Elizabeth, Lesley, Kristin
Plague has taken over settlements throughout history, causing sickness and death to spread among the inhabitants. In 1665, one English town decided to stand against the resurging Plague. For 14 months, the Derbyshire town of Eyam self-isolated. No one was allowed in, no one as allowed out. Neighboring villages supported the isolated town by leaving supplies in a field. This week, Lesley discusses the consequences of their strategy.
In the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples the following about the end of the world: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36). Despite this, William Miller, a popular minister in New York, preached that he had calculated the precise day on which the world would come to an end. He was wrong. Twice. In this episode, Josh explores William Miller’s conversion to evangelical Christianity, his calculations about the end of the world, and the fallout from his incorrect predictions.
The Aztecs are famous as conquerors, as sometime cannibals, and as, eventually, the conquered of an expanding European empire. This episode goes beyond human sacrifice to look at how Aztec beliefs about the body, religion, and nature were reflected in their practices of medicine and healing. Dismissed as sorcerers by some Spanish observers, physicians were significant to Aztec culture, and active in providing healing, surgery, and preventative care.
Jane Manning James was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the moment she was baptized in the 1840s. Here, Christine and Elizabeth discuss her experiences as one of the earliest Black women in the majority-white religion - including her interactions with the church's founder, Joseph Smith, and her fight for full inclusion.
Podcasters: Christine and Elizabeth
Witchcraft in the late medieval and early modern European world was a highly gendered crime. The majority of victims were women but a significant percentage were men – and in some regions, men made up the majority of the accused. The male witch appeared wherever there were witchcraft accusations – he was known as a maleficius, a wicca, a sorcier, or hexenmeister … just don’t call him a warlock.
In 1562, Spaniard Diego de Landa destroyed 5000 documents recording 800 years of Mayan religion, culture, and history. The Spanish claimed to be fighting black magic and only 4 pages survived their destruction. In this episode, Lesley tells the story of the burning and the consequence of these actions.
In our last episode we discussed revolutions in the United States and France, and this time we turn our eyes toward China and Russia. Here, our Summer Special crossover concludes with Christine and Elizabeth chatting with Pod Academy’s Gil and Rutger about 1965’s Dr. Zhivago and 1987’s The Last Emperor.
Podcasters: Elizabeth, Christine, Pod Academy’s Gil and Rutger
How do modern films portray revolutions? What are some of the things regularly included - and just as regularly left out? In the first of this special pair of episodes Elizabeth and Christine step away from their scripts and join Gil and Rutger of Pod Academy for a Summer Special conversation about 2000’s The Patriot and 2012’s Les Miserables.
Podcasters: Elizabeth, Christine, Pod Academy’s Gil and Rutger
Most likely, many of us have heard tales around how the colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe, a philanthropist, to be a haven for Britain's debtors but, as always, that isn't the whole story. In this episode, Elizabeth delves into how slavery of Africans was illegal early on in the colony and why that changed - including who drove the demand.
In the late 1800s, Charles Stewart Parnell was a heavyweight in Irish politics - until his affair with a woman named Katharine O'Shea came to light. Join Christine for a look at the scandal that dominated headlines and rocked the career of the so-called "Uncrowned King of Ireland".
The civil service examinations taken by the bureaucrats and administrators of imperial China were not merely academic. They also served as social rites of passage. Moreover, they were designed to test the moral aptitudes of test-takers for a lifetime of upholding Confucian ideals. Naturally, they were a source of individual stress, as well as a key part of imperial power and authority for centuries, outlasting several dynasties. This episode looks at the roles civil service examinations played in premodern China, and the mythos that grew around them.
In 1536, there were two Anne Boleyns in the Tower of London. One was a queen who helped inspire the English Reformation and stood accused of treason; the other was the aunt whose testimony may have helped to convict her. Lady Anne Shelton, née Boleyn, was the sister of the queen’s father, Thomas Boleyn and the mother of one of Henry VIII’s alleged mistresses. She was to play a critical role during the reign and fall of Henry’s second queen – who was her namesake and who became her nemesis.